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Monday, March 11, 2013

Coco Peat : is not = coco + peat;


Every day  you get something to learn…….  Today came across a reference of ‘Coco peat’ – have not heard of this earlier… the easiest way of understanding is to split – get their meanings and understand [may not work all the time though !]

Sure know of Cocoa bean……..almost  all of us are addicted to chocolates. They are made of cocoa bean.... the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted. A cocoa pod (fruit) has a rough and leathery rind about 3 cm thick (this varies with the origin and variety of pod). It is filled with sweet,mucilaginous pulp (called 'baba de cacao' in South America) enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are fairly soft and white to a pale lavender color. While seeds are usually white, they become violet or reddish brown during the drying process.

Republic of Ghana,  in West Africa is famous for cocoa beans.  A Govt Organisation there controls the pricing, procuring and export of cocoa beans from Ghana.  There is also Hot chocolate (known as hot cocoa), a heated beverage typically consisting of shaved chocolate, melted chocolate or cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar.

On the other : Peat - (turf) is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation. Peat forms in wetland conditions, where flooding obstructs flows of oxygen from the atmosphere, reducing rates of decomposition.

Adding Coco + Peat = Coco Peat or so one thought ~ sorry, no way near the correct answer. 

Coconut which has nothing to do with cocoa bean is available aplenty in Kerala.  Coir is a natural fibre extracted from the husk of coconut and used in products such as floor mats, doormats, brushes, mattresses, etc. Technically, coir is the fibrous material found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut.

Coco peat  is also known as coir pith, coir fibre pith, coir dust, or simply coir – and  is made from coconut husks, which are byproducts of other industries that use coconuts. Coir waste from coir fiber industries is washed, heat-treated, screened and graded before being processed into coco peat products of various granularity and denseness, which are then used for horticultural and agricultural applications and as industrial absorbent. Coco peat is  shipped in the form of compressed bales, briquettes, slabs or discs, the end user usually expands and aerates the compressed coco peat by the addition of water. A single kilogram of coco peat will expand to 15 litres of moist coco peat.

Coco peat is used as a soil additive. Due to low levels of nutrients in its composition, coco peat is usually not the sole component in the medium used to grow plants. When plants are grown exclusively in coco peat, it is important to add nutrients according to the specific plants' needs.  Being a good absorbent, dry coco peat can be used as an oil absorbent on slippery floors. Coco peat is also used as a bedding in animal farms and pet houses to absorb animal waste so the farm is kept clean and dry.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
11th Mar 2013.

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